The standards for kindergarten students include an introduction to the lives of interesting people in history. During the course of their first year in school, students should learn basic concepts involving historical time sequence, geographic direction, and economic choices. They should use maps and globes to identify and locate some of the places and geographic features that are discussed in rich stories of history. Initial citizenship education should include the importance of following rules and respecting the rights of other people. Students should also have opportunities to learn about national symbols. They should learn how individuals acquire the economic goods and services they need and want. They should learn the concepts of self-control, justice, courage, heroism, and leadership.
The standards for first-grade students include comparisons of everyday life and traditions in different places and times. First- grade students should construct simple maps and globes to identify continents and locate places in Virginia and around the world related to their comparative studies of life and culture. First graders should also construct time lines; study economic concepts of scarcity, productive resources, and consumption; learn the value of rights and responsibilities; and help to make and enforce class rules. The student should be encouraged to develop good character through stories that teach such virtues as honesty, truthfulness, kindness, self-discipline, and responsibility.
The standards for second grade introduce students to the heritage and contributions of historic groups of people throughout the world. Second graders should also continue development of map skills and demonstrate enhanced understanding of basic economic concepts. Civics standards include distinguishing the basic functions of government and the officials responsible for each.
The standards for third grade develop an understanding of the elements of civilizations and their interrelationship by studying several early civilizations. Students also learn about the discovery, exploration, and colonization of America. Third graders should apply the concepts of latitude and longitude as they study the geography of Virginia and the United States. The study of economics continues within the context of the historical study of exploration and colonization, and students are expected to learn about economic specialization, taxation, and the influence of transportation and communication on the distribution of goods and services.
The standards for fourth-grade students allow them to explore the rich history of Virginia from 1607 to the present. Geographic, economic, and civic concepts continue to be presented within this historic context. Students should use geographic tools to analyze the influence of physical and cultural geography on Virginia history. Fourth graders should also focus on concepts of economic interdependence and the historic ideas that form the foundation of political institutions in Virginia and the United States. Historic and current examples of monetary exchange, credit, and taxation should be compared, and students should begin examination of constitutional documents and the structure and operation of state government.
The standards for grade five relate to the history of the United States from Pre-Columbian times until 1877. Fifth graders will continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography. This course continues in grade six. In these two years, students study United States history in chronological sequence and learn about change and continuity in our history, study documents and speeches that lay the foundation of American ideals and institutions, and examine the everyday life of people at different times in our history through the use of primary and secondary sources. Teachers are encouraged to use simulations, class debates, projects, or other innovative techniques to make the students' learning experiences lively and memorable. Students should have ample instruction devoted to reviewing and strengthening map and globe skills, skills of using and interpreting information, and historical thinking skills.
The standards for grade six relate to the history of the United States from the end of the Reconstruction period to the present day, thus completing a two-year study of American history in the elementary grades. Sixth graders should continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography in the context of United States history. Teachers are encouraged to use simulations, class debates, projects, or other innovative techniques to make the students' learning experiences lively and memorable. Students should have ample instruction devoted to reviewing and strengthening map and globe skills, skills in interpreting and using information, and historical thinking skills.
The standards for seventh-grade students cover the role of the citizen in the American political and economic systems. The focus is on gaining essential knowledge of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions and the structure and functions of government institutions at the national, state, and local levels. Students also learn the basic principles, structure, and operation of the American economy. These standards are intended to foster patriotism, respect for the law, a sense of civic duty, and informed economic decision making. Social science skill development extends into quantitative data organization and interpretation.
The standards for the eighth grade enable students to explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times until about 1000 A.D. Students study the origins of much of our heritage using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills.
The standards for ninth-grade students cover history and geography from the late Middle Ages (1000 A.D.) to the present with emphasis on Western Europe. Geographic influences on history continue to be explored, but increasing attention is given to political boundaries that developed with the evolution of nation-states. Significant attention will be given to the ways in which scientific and technological revolutions created new economic conditions that in turn produced social and political changes. The people and events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be emphasized for their strong connections to contemporary issues. The standards strike a balance between the broad themes of history and the probing of specific historic events, ideas, issues, persons, and documents. Using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, and a variety of chronological, inquiry/research, and technological skills, students develop competence in chronological thinking, historical comprehension, and historical analysis.
The focus of this course is the study of the world's people, places, and environments with historical emphasis on Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The knowledge, skills, and perspectives of the course are centered on the world's population and cultural characteristics, its countries and regions, land forms and climates, natural resources and natural hazards, economic and political systems, and migration and settlement patterns. Spatial concepts of geography will be linked to chronological concepts of history to set a framework for studying human interactions. The course will emphasize how people in various cultures influence and are influenced by their physical and ecological environments. Using texts, maps, globes, graphs, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, and a variety of geographic, inquiry/research, and technology skills, students consider the relationships between people and places while asking and answering geographic questions.
The standards for eleventh-grade students cover the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While focusing on political and economic history, the standards provide students with a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in United States and Virginia history.
The standards for the study of United States and Virginia government will ensure that graduates of Virginia's public schools understand the origins and workings of the American and Virginia political systems. The standards require that students have knowledge of the United States and Virginia Constitutions; the structure and operation of United States and Virginia governments; the process of policy- making, with emphasis on economics, foreign affairs, and civil rights issues; and the impact of the general public, political parties, interest groups, and the media on policy decisions. United States political and economic systems are compared to those of other nations, with emphasis on the relationships between economic and political freedoms. Economic content covers the United States market system, supply and demand, and the role of the government in the economy.